Looking for a sparkling probiotic beverage that’s easy to make? Try homemade ginger beer! It’s sweet, spicy, and refreshing. Since it’s made with real ginger, it’s also good for soothing an upset stomach.
Ginger beer is my FAVORITE fermented soda. It’s so easy to catch and maintain the starter. I love playing with flavor. I love the boost of antioxidants. It doesn’t become vinegary, like kombucha. It isn’t too sweet, water kefir. The culture doesn’t need the constant feeding and care that other probiotic beverages require.
It’s the perfect beverage for anyone seeking the health benefits of a probiotic pop!
Ginger beer or ginger ale?
Want to know the difference between ginger beer and ginger ale?
Ginger ale is a ginger-flavored soda pop that has not been fermented. My bet is that it’s a modern, shelf-stable version of the more traditional ginger beer.
Ginger beer is made using the ginger bug, a wild-yeast culture that is made from sugar and ginger. It’s easy to catch the ginger bug at home. And it’s just as easy to brew your own traditional ginger beer!
A Few Notes on Brewing Ginger beer
Like all yeast fermented beverages (eg. kombucha,) homemade ginger beer has a few particular features. Here are a few additional details for anyone new to fermenting.
Ginger bug needs to be fed sucrose. So you can’t use alternative sweeteners like honey, agave, or maple syrup.
I like to use panela sugar for a nice dark brown ginger beer (see below). You can also use white sugar or coconut palm sugar (see above).
Regardless, I recommend using raw sugar rather than bright white sugar. The bright white color requires the addition of sulfites, which slows down fermentation.
Traditional fermented ginger beer is non-alcoholic beverage. Wild-yeasts just can’t ferment to alcohol levels much above 1% ABV. Using a ginger bug starter means that this beverage is unlikely to ferment to above 0.5% ABV.
If you want to brew alcoholic ginger beer, then you would need to use commercial brewing yeast. And that is a different sort of recipe. I personally haven’t tried it, but it’s definitely on my to-do list!
However, this lovely probiotic beverage is perfect for mixing into cocktails! Here are two trad options:
- For a very hot and spicy ginger beer, add hot pepper to the ferment. Slice the hot pepper in half and add it with the grated ginger. Then remove it out when bottling. It will really give your beverage a bite!
- If you want a mild beverage, replace some or all of the ginger with grated fresh turmeric root. The result is an antioxidant-rich and bright orange drink. My kids love a 50/50 mix of turmeric and ginger.
- Cranberry ginger ale is a classic Canadian holiday drink.
- Ginger bug can be used to brew all sorts of flavors of ginger soda pop. Here’s a post on different ways to flavor ginger bug soda.
Homemade Ginger Beer
Traditional ginger beer is easy to make at home. It is made with the ginger bug, which is a wild yeast culture fed on ginger and sugar. Homemade ginger beer is refreshingly probiotic, spicy, and delicious! It’s also a traditional remedy for digestive issues and nausea.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups 1x
- Category: Beverages
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: British
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 3 1/2 cups water (chlorine-free)
- 4 to 6 Tbsp raw sugar (see above for options)
- 1/4 cup ginger bug starter
- 1 to 4 Tbsp finely grated ginger (see notes for details)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (not bottled, see notes)
- Mix all the ingredients in a 1 quart (1 L) glass jar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Cover with a piece of cloth or coffee filter held in place with a rubber band or metal ring. Ginger bug needs exposure to air for fermentation so don’t ferment in a sealed jar.
- Place the jar somewhere warm and dark to ferment for 3 to 5 days and give it a good stir each day. The speed of the ferment will depend on the temperature. It will go quickly at temperatures above 70 F (21 C).
- It’s ready to bottle when bubbles are forming at the top of the jar. Strain the mixture and bottle it in a bottle that can handle the carbonation. See notes for more details.
- Allow the ginger beer to ferment in the bottle for a further 2 to 5 days to build up the carbonation.
- Once it’s fizzy, store the ginger beer in the refrigerator and consume it within four weeks.
- It’s important to monitor carbonation. Either use plastic pop bottles or swing-top bottles that can handle the pressure of carbonation. Check the carbonation by popping open the swing-top bottles every day or squeezing the plastic bottle.
- The more ginger you use, the more flavor you will have in your ginger beer. Also, the beer will ferment quicker with more ginger. It’s really a matter of personal preference whether you want to use 1 Tbsp or 4 Tbsp of ginger. If you aren’t certain, then use 2 Tbsp, which is still quite mild. Likewise, the amount of sugar is optional. Using 4 Tbsp will result in a less sweet ginger beer. For a typical ginger beer use the full 6 Tbsp.
- Bottled lemon juice is very high in sulfites, which will slow down the fermentation. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice instead.
Keywords: probiotic, ginger ale, ginger beer, stomach soothing, anti-nausea, morning sickness, motion sickness, travel sickness, spring, summer, fall
Making this regularly. Yum! Fermenting fast in this warm weather.
Great! It’s perfect for summer.
I’ve just found this and am super excited to make ginger beer!!!! I’ve just started my “catcher”!!!!
Great! I wish you a strong and healthy culture!
This has been very easy!!! I caught my “ginger bug” right away!!!! Gonna be making my ginger ale tomorrow!!!!
Wow, that was quick!
Yup!!! I don’t mess around!! Lol. I’ve got it all bottled and just on the last leg until I can drink it!!! I’m super excited!!! Thank you so much for all your expertise!! And by the way…..I just made a mustard vinaigrette using the dijo n mustard from your recipe file!!! Delish!!!
Great! I’m currently going through all my recipes to double check that they work out well. I’m glad to hear that they are working for you too. 🙂
Marinda Du Buson
good day. I really want to get the ginger beer but it is so high in sugar. Does the fermenting process reduce the sugar. my husband is trying to loose weight and he loves ginger beer.
You can definitely make it less sweet then store bought ginger beer, but it will always have some sugar in it. It does get eaten up by the fermentation. So use it to catch and feed your starter. Then don’t sweeten it when you bottle it. It won’t be as fizzy (because the sugar helps with fizziness). It also won’t be as sweet, but mix it 50/50 with sparkling water and he’ll have a much lower calorie ginger beer.
Improving his gut bacteria will definitely help with weight loss. There’s a lot of research coming out on the link between your flora (gut bacteria) and the ability to lose wait. Cheers!
Great post. I’ve followed the recipe but no bubbles after 3 days in the dark room so can’t go to final bottling stage. Any suggestions?
Hum, was your ginger bug starter really active? If you want to bottle anyway, use at least 1 plastic bottle so that you can test the carbonation. It might take a little longer to carbonate, but you can squeeze the plastic bottle to check how it’s developing. When the bottle becomes firm, it’s carbonated. Good luck!
Can anyone help. I followed the recipe for the ginger bug and the beer itself and it’s come out rather syrupy. Is anyone able to tell me why this might be or how it could be salvaged?
Does syrupy mean sweet? Or thick? I’m surprised if it is thick as I’ve never heard of that happening before. Did you add the right amount of water? If it’s too sweet, then either ferment for longer (the sugar will decrease overtime). Or if you want to drink it right away, then mix it with sparkling water.
Yes mine is super thick after about 4 days like gelatin even…. Very strange
I haven’t personally had this experience with ginger bug. However, I think it could be related to having a dominant strain of bacteria rather than yeast. I imagine it’s not carbonating? How was the starter? Did it bubble? Also, did you follow this recipe? (There are other recipes out there that involve boiling the ginger prior to brewing… which would kill all the natural culture on the ginger.)
Hey Emillie, thank for the recipe! I have followed it word by word, but also got a syrupy result. No sweetness, rather bland and fungusi in taste. Still, I bottled it after adding the ingredients to make ginger beer from the bug, and the bubbles did happen (like crazy!) but still syrupy a bland. Any ideas on how to fix the taste? Thank you
Hi Tair, Thank you for sharing these details. The thickness is most likely due to an over-abundance of particular strains of bacteria. I’ve never had this happen in my ginger bug, but I have had it in other “sweet” fermented (like beets). Usually, it only lasts for a week or so, as it keeps fermenting the “thick” bacteria die off as other bacteria come into take over. Bland is interesting… the ginger should definitely make it spicy! I’m not sure whether you used 1 Tbsp of ginger or the full 4 Tbsp of ginger? Was your starter thick and syrupy? (Just wondering if the bacteria was in your starter or just in the beer).
If it was my ferment, I would pour it back into a large mouth jar for fermenting. Add a bunch more ginger (maybe enough to get to 4 Tbsp total). If it doesn’t taste sweet enough, I would add in more sugar (to taste). Then continue to ferment for another week to see if I could get a better result. Good luck!
When you put the gingerbug in the fridge (to keep it more dormant- until you need it again) do you filter out the old (original) ginger, or leave it in and keep adding…
I leave the ginger in there… however, I usually rotate through my ginger bug in about 1 month. If you’re going to be feeding it for longer than that, you’ll need to clean out some of the old ginger. Enjoy!
I like spicy , so I use ginger tea with a small slice of scotch bonnet in it that gives a kick, this is what factories use in commercial production, but works well. A slice that you can remove before bottling is good.
That’s such a good suggestion that I’m going to add it to the notes in the recipe. Thanks!
Hi 🙂 thx for the receip !
It’s possible to close the jar completly for the 3days fermentation ? or like ginger bug with some cheescloth ?
I usually leave it open like ginger bug, until I’m ready to bottle it. Then I cap the bottle to build up the carbonation. Otherwise it will carbonate in the fermentation jar.
Thanks perfect 🙂
Hello, I have a question. I tried your recipe and I am in love. I was a tad confused about how to store for carbonation. As such, I actually bottled it (in a swing top)…closed for the three days…will it be consumable? Side note, I tried to open it after day one and it like a shaken bottle of warm soda… What should I do?
Hello, I have a question. I tried your recipe and I am in love. I was a tad confused about how to store for carbonation. As such, I actually bottled it (in a swing top)…closed for the three days…will it be consumable? Side note, I tried to open it after day one and it exploded like a shaken bottle of warm soda… What should I do?
It sounds like you have some pretty good carbonation! One it is carbonated (pops when you open it, tastes bubbly) then store it in the fridge to slow down the carbonation.
I usually leave my ginger beer out on the counter for the 1-2 weeks it takes me to drink it. That way it keeps building up more carbonation whenever I release it to serve a drink. Personally, I’ve never had a bottle of ginger bug go off. However, if you leave it out, it will continue to build up carbonation and consume the sugar. So it will get less sweet and more bubbly. Enjoy!
Hi. We’ve just made our first batch and it is delicious! Is it alcoholic? My kids want to drink it but I’m not sure if it’s alcoholic or not? Thanks for your information
Officially, all probiotic beverages are alcoholic. Yeast converts sugar into CO2 and alcohol. However, it takes specially bred strains of yeast to make beer, wine, etc. Kombucha, ginger beer, milke kefir, etc. are really, really low in alcohol (like less than 0.5%). My kids have been drinking probiotic since they were young. Enjoy!
Hi Kim, I’ve never personally made it, so I’m here to check on different comments on recipes I’ve found. But what I’ve read about ginger beer as I have begun to investigate it, it’s a tiny alcoholic percentage. Like .05% just as the non alcoholic beverages are rated, so not enough to cause drunkenness, but just enough to be considered a healthy fermented state to drink.
I usually make Iskiato but wanted to check out the recipe for making ginger beer after I was given some by a friend. He called his bug “the mother plant” and always has a spare. Thanks for this recipe, very keen to try.
I haven’t heard of Iskiato. Definitely something I’m interested in exploring. Glad you liked this ginger beer! Cheers.
Hi seems a great recipe, this will be my 3rd attempt, previous 2 from a recipe that you heated the tea let it cool then add bug . But both times it didn’t ferment it was flat and didn’t smell great . so I’m trying yours , have you any idea why it hasn’t worked previously . Thanks
I’m not sure why they recommend making tea? But it would definitely kill the natural culture in the ginger if they boiled it first. Hopefully, this works for you!
Hi! I made both your turmeric/ginger/honey recipe and a batch of ginger beer (I used Sandor Katz’s GB recipe both times, which boils the sugar and ginger, like a post from above) from the same bug this week. The first time I did the same, both batches were AMAZING. This time, there was zero sweetness in the finished drink. I did put slightly less sugar in the ginger beer, but not enough less that it would be no sweetness, and I can’t even taste the honey in the turmeric drink. I had been making a batch of sauerkraut at the same time I made the ginger bug and am wondering if I inadvertently proved something I read a couple of weeks ago: that there can be cross fermentation? Perhaps the bug, which looked yeasty and bubbly, had some sauerkraut life in it? Also, can I add sugar after fermentation to the ginger beer?
Thanks so much for your work! This site is just wonderful: delicious recipes and clear directions.
Ferments definitely can cross-contaminate. I spread mine around the house. Most closets have something stashed in them. For example, right now I have milk kefir in the kitchen, ginger bug in my bedroom, kimchi in my bedroom closet, miso in my hall closet. 🙂
It sounds like you have a very active ginger bug (whether from sauerkraut, or more likely the warm weather.) You can definitely sweeten after brewing. Either add it to the bottle or when you serve the drinks. Enjoy!
Haha! What a fun treasure hunt.
Thanks for your reply. I live in the north of Sweden and two days ago we had our first day of the year without clouds and jackets. For our short summer, I will definitely watch it! It’s also good to hear your cross contamination strategy. Also, the Turmeric/Ginger drink unfortunately ended up being undrinkable and the straight ginger beer ended up really eating sugar (I would add a good portion, leave it overnight, and in the morning it would be really sour again) and being yummy when it was sweet, but it definitely turned into alcohol. So fascinating learning this process! Thanks again!
Wow! I’ve never heard of ginger bug being that sugar-hungry. Interesting. Thanks for sharing.
greetings al from lock down in the UK
I’m just making my first batch and its all going really well
I just wondered if when I strain the ginger beer and put it into bottles if there is anything I can do with the ginger – it seems a shame to throw it away – can it go back into the ginger bug (or start another one?
I wouldn’t reuse the ginger for ginger bug, as it will already be quite changed from the fermenting. You can use it for cooking… it will be milder than fresh ginger, but still tasty!
For larger batches, do you increase the ginger bug proportionally?
Yes, I would keep it proportional. However, if you’re short on ginger bug, you could use less… it will just take longer to get bubbling.
How much sugarcus left after fermenting?
It depends on how long it was fermented. I really don’t like sweet drinks, so I usually ferment for 4 weeks before drinking. However, after a week of fermenting it will probably have 75% of the original sugar. Feel free to just keep testing it until the flavour is right. I usually leave it out on my counter and drink from it starting from 2 weeks after I initially brewed it. Enjoy!
Is there a way to make ginger beer with a higher precentage of alcohol?
Yes! The percentage of alcohol is based on the type of yeast. Use champagne yeast, about 1 tsp for a batch. Good luck!
Is this this 1tsp of champagne yeast added to the bug starter or each batch of beer?
Yes! Add the yeast when you set up your batch of beer. Enjoy!
Should the solids be filtered out of the “1/4 cup ginger bug starter” first?
Nope, you can filter the solids out when bottling. I usually try to get some of the solids into my brew, just so I can replenish my ginger bug starter without a build-up of extra ginger. Enjoy!
When bottling, does it matter how much you fill them up? Should I leave some air at the top or no room for air at all? I’m using both flp top glass and plastic bottles.
Leave a little bit of air at the top, because it will bubble and pressurize, and you don’t want it to accidentally bubble over. However, it’s really just a little bit of air. Think of pop bottles and beer bottles. They always have a bit of space at the top. Enjoy!
Hi. What do you do to keep your bug happy the 5 days when you start to use it in the beer making?
I usually stick my extra ginger bug in the fridge. It lasts pretty well for at least a month. However, if I’m brewing a lot, then I tend to refresh it. You can find more info about maintaining your ginger bug here: https://www.fermentingforfoodies.com/catching-ginger-bug/ Enjoy!
It’s been 3 days fermenting but no sign off bubbles. I had better bubbles in the bug making process. Should I strain and bottle it or wait longer??
If it’s a bit cool in your home, it might take longer to ferment. I would wait for another day or two before bottling. The other way to test if it’s fermenting nicely is to like a spoon after stirring the ginger ale. It should be a bit sparkling. Good luck!
I’m so excited to try this! Do you think it will work if I use a jun starter? it would be so lovely to have a honey sweetened ginger beer and I have tons of jun scobys sitting around!
Yes… but it won’t be the same. Ginger beer is traditionally brewed with a culture made from ginger. However, you can definitely make a ginger flavoured jun! I would use at least 4 tbsp of ginger… for the strongest ginger flavour. Enjoy!
Hi there! I am on day 3 of my ginger beer brew but there are no bubbles, although my ginger bug was bubbling happily. I want to add more ginger, but I’ve ran out and probably won’t get more for several days. Is dried ginger an okay substitute?
Sorry, dried ginger definitely won’t help. It’s often treated with preservatives, and even if it isn’t, it won’t help feed the ginger bug. Maybe give your ginger beer another day or two. It can be a bit slower if it’s cold in your house or if you added hot pepper. It probably doesn’t need more ginger, however, if you think you didn’t have enough in the first place, then taste a bit. At this point, ginger is mostly for flavour as the ginger bug should be enough to ferment the beer. Good luck!
I’m excited to try making my own ginger beer. Starting in the dead of winter, so things are not as active and bubbly as I would hope, but still tastes great!. Looking forward to trying this more in the warmer months!
I am noticing a lot of milky looking buildup in the bottom of my bottles. Any idea what this is and if it’s safe? I’m thinking it might be dead microbes 🙁
Milky? Hum… there usually is a bit of spent yeast and maybe ginger at the bottom of the bottles… it’s more of sediment than milky. Similar to what would be at the bottom of a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar. But if the beer is bubbly and tastes good, then it’s probably fine. Enjoy!
Hi! I started this about a week ago and things were going great, bubbling along nicely – until I bottled it at day 3 and put it in the fridge. Now it’s completely flat. It tastes fine; I don’t think it’s gone bad. But I am a bit hesitant to try more than a sip in case I screwed something up. Any suggestions? Did I bottle it too soon? Would I be able to take it back out of the fridge, add more bug, and just give it more time before bottling next time? Or alternatively start over from scratch? Thank you! I’m so excited for this to work!
Hi Carly, Your ginger beer sounds perfectly fine. To carbonate after bottling, it needs to be left out on the counter for 2-5 days. So just pull it out of the fridge and let it start carbonating! I often permanently leave my ginger beer out because it decarbonates a bit every time I serve some. Enjoy!
Hello, thank you for the recipe! I’ve made my ginger bug starter and am now brewing some lemonade with it! I wanted to ask, when I store my ginger bug in the fridge between brews, can I place a metal lid on the jar or will this harm the bug?
Since the ginger bug won’t be touching it, it’s fine to use a metal lid in the fridge. Enjoy your ginger-ade!
Hi, thank you very much for the recipe. It’s very helpful to my research. I am think of producing it for commercial purposes. Actually I am trying to produce 20 litters each batches. Can you tell me the recipe of producing 20 litters with strong alchole percentage.
Note. I want to know how to prevent my alchole from bacteria and will I use air lock. Thank you very much in advance for in advance for your time. Looking forward to hear from you.
Hum, this isn’t a recipe for alcoholic ginger beer. For that, you would need to use champagne yeast, and the process is slightly different. Perhaps look for a recipe for alcoholic ginger beer? Cheers, Emillie
I think I posted yesterday or the day before, but I don’t see it showing up… is there a review process or something?
I’m really psyched about trying some of your recipes and had questions about this one.
I think my other post didn’t make it because it was too long, but I didn’t get an error message, so no idea 🙂
Here’s my first question:
The ginger in the picture appears to have a bit of blue in it. Am I seeing that right?
I tend to buy a lot of ginger since I cook Chinese food regularly and have previously done my best to avoid any ginger that had anything remotely fuzzy or blue.
Is it easier to catch the bug if there’s a little fuzz or blue or stay away for cooking and brewing and just “trust the bugs are there” as it were?
I also use cold water to rinse and scrub the ginger prior to using whether cooking or brewing. Would that hinder the bug or eliminate it?
Sorry! I’ve been having glitches with the comments section for about a week. My web admin is looking into it but hasn’t figured it out yet. Wow! I never noticed the bit of mold on that ginger. It’s probably best to avoid ginger that looks like that. You definitely don’t want mold. And I’m definitely going to change out that picture! (Currently working on rephotographing everything).
Washing your ginger in cold water is fine. Just don’t scrub off the skin. And if there is any mold, cut that bit off. Thanks for pointing that out in the picture!
For your webadmin – each post whether a reply to a reply or a top level reply repaints the page with a new comment number at the top (incremented from before – I posted a few times and it kept going up but my posts are not showing)
Hoping this one does 🙂
Thanks for letting me know. I’ve passed on your message!
No problem – I’m glad I was able to post and thanks for clarifying!
Here’s my next question: You have some in a mason jar with cloth over it – does it matter the type of cloth? I’m assuming lint free and breathable is all that matters so no microscopic friends come to visit and spoil the party. Similar to when you’re making a mash for wine.
Hi Mike, Thanks for helping me test the comments section. A lint-free cloth or coffee filter is perfect for this ferment. The goal is to prevent fruit flies (or pesky pets) from getting to the liquid. However, it’s a ferment that propagates with wild yeasts, so it needs exposure to the air to ferment properly. Enjoy!
You’re welcome! This is a slightly longer post to see if that works too 🙂
I had a question about racking into a bottle in preparation for letting the carbonation build up. Should I use a fine metal sieve or can I get away with using a nylon coffee filter or even a paper one? I want the yeast to survive the process and get into the bottle to continue building up CO2 and I was concerned about the metal either harming the yeast or the filters being too fine to let them through.
I’m currently brewing a pure lemonade (well it was GOING to be that, but I picked up the lime juice bottle and got a few tablespoons and wondered why it wasn’t lemony enough yet, lol. I did finally add enough lemon juice to get that flavor, so I guess I’m reinventing Sprite for this experiment. Live and learn!
Hi Mike, I usually filter through a fine metal sieve or cheesecloth. The goal is to remove the bits of ginger. It would have to be a very fine filter to remove yeast. 🙂
Are you using ginger bug to brew lemonade? You may find that to be a bit tricky with bottled lemon juice, as it tends to contain a lot of sulfites (which is why it lasts so long in the fridge). It may still ferment, just more slowly than you expect.
The part about alcohol content with wild yeast is not entirely accurate. My past 2 batches of ginger beer made with my bug passed 5% abv in 7 days. The first I bottled on day 7 at 5.5%, the second in day 8 at 6.4%.
Interesting! My ginger beer definitely doesn’t become alcoholic. Are you using a hydrometer to measure ABV? Because it won’t work for beverages like ginger beer (kombucha, etc.).
These beverages involve both yeast and bacterial fermentation. So while the sugar levels will decrease, it doesn’t all turn into alcohol like it would with wine or other beverages made with commercial yeast. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious!
Love your recipes! My ginger bug turned out good but after 5 days my soda isn’t showing any bubbles. I used warm water when I first brewed it, so maybe I killed the yeast? Should I start over, wait longer or add more ginger bug? It smells like ginger ale!
Hum… you might not see the bubbles, but you should be able to taste them. Have you tried sipping just a little bit to see if it is sparkling? Though I guess if you used boiling water to brew your ginger beer that could kill the culture. Maybe try adding a bit more ginger bug to see if you can get it to bubble. Good luck!
I really like the receip, but I don’t manage to get a fizzy ginger beer.
I think my starter get well because it bublled, but my two first ginger beers did not carbonated. The first time, I thought it was because I didn’t put enough sugar, but the second time I did (follwing the proportion you idicated). What I don’t understand is that when I put the ginger beer into bottle it already had carbonated, but the fermentation seems to stop once in the bottle… I’m bit lost as I did follow every steps. Maybe I should have waited for more bubbles before bottle? Or, at the contrary, did I wait to long? The thing is, I get carbonation quite quickly (1-2 days), but in the receip you say that it take between 3 or 5 days. I supposed that the important was the carbonation over the exact days it takes, but I’m not so sure now…
Do you have any advice or explanation?
Thank you very much! 🙂
I’m surprised that the ginger bug isn’t carbonating once you bottle it. Here are two things to check: 1. Does the bottle have an airtight lid? Maybe it’s not carbonating because the bubbles are escaping? 2. Do you leave the bottle out at room temperature so that it can continue to ferment? If you put the bottle into the fridge right away it won’t carbonate.
If it’s carbonating in the initial brew, it should be fine to bottle. So I don’t think you need to take longer. I’m betting you live somewhere warm… heat makes things ferment fast! Let me know if one of those two ideas help.
Thank you for your answer 😉
Yes, I used a sealed bottle and let it 5 more days at room temperature, which is way I don’t get it neither -_-
But according to what you are telling me, I thing I might understand what could have happened, and it probabily have something to do with the climate. I live in Barcelona and the average temperature for the season is arround 20-25 C. I guess I have waited too long before bootle the ginger beer, as it had already started to bubble just one day after making it. I thought the more I will wait, the more it will get fizzy, but this is maybe why it stoped fermenting? Then, instead of puting the mixture directly in the bottle after one day, I have waited one more to actually be sure it was enough.
Also, could it have something to do with the fact I am using my ginger bug while it is still cold from the fridge?
Thank you in advance for you reply! 🙂
Hi Coralie, Barcelona is definitely warmer than where I live! So maybe try bottling earlier? I chatted about your issue with my husband, and he pointed out, that if you sanitize your bottles with a commercial sanitizer or bleach, then the residue could also prevent fermentation.
I don’t think brewing with cold ginger bug is an issue. You are feeding the culture when you add sugar and ginger to your ginger beer. It sounds like it’s bubbling nicely right before bottling.
Another thing you could try is bottling with the ginger (not filtering it out). Then pour the ginger beer through a fine sieve when serving it (to remove the ginger). Maybe it needs a bit longer with the ginger to properly ferment.
Thank again for all the information you gave me!
I well washed and rinsed the bottle before using it, so I don’t think it was that.
I will follow your advices and see what is happening 😉
Thanks a lot!
Please advise. My ginger bug doesn’t bubble. It’s 10th day, but nothing happens. It smells nice, but looks like it’s turning into vinegar rather than a bubbly ginger beer starter.
What could it be? I followed all your instructions and keep it in a warm place.
Hi, Just to check, you’re still working on your ginger bug starter, not brewing ginger beer. If you had trouble catching the ginger bug within 10 days, then it’s likely you just don’t have a good culture of wild yeasts and bacteria in your home. Here are a few suggestions: 1. Try to find fresh organic ginger which is more likely to naturally have the culture on its skin. 2. Hepa air filters remove wild yeasts and bacteria so you won’t be able to catch them if you have filtered air. 3. Do you do other types of fermentation? That can help build up the wild yeast and bacterial cultures necessary for this ferment.
Another thought, vinegar usually happens after yeasts have fermented a beverage. So maybe it was bubbly, but you expected more bubbles? When ferments are left open to the air, they don’t have a chance to build up carbonation. You’re looking for just a slight bubbliness in your starter.
Hope this helps! Emillie
Hi Emillie, thank you for your reply and suggestions. It definitely didn’t bubble at all. I am thinking whether some kind of different bacteria/ yeast caused it to change straight into (sweet) vinegar – not sure if it’s possible. I may need to do a new, fresh bug and see if it works on my second attempt. Thank you
Wild cultures are definitely impacted by local yeast and bacteria strains. It’s surprising that it would turn sour without yeast. However, it’s most likely not vinegar bacteria (acetic acid bacteria) as they consume alcohol, not sugars. Maybe a lactic bacterial strain? So a yogurt-like bacteria? Perhaps try again with fresh ginger? Best of luck!
This is the yumiest ginger beer! I did however just have an explosion! on the upside though the kitchen got a good clean
Oh no! I think that’s happened to most of us. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!
My ginger beer is now on day 3 and bubbly, however when I started my ginger beer I didn’t have any lemon so I was wondering if it is necessary to add, for the carbonation to be successful and if I can add it now. Will that mess it up?
The lemon is for flavor, so no need to add it now. You may just want a squeeze in your glass to add a bit of freshness and acidity. Enjoy!
I’ve got a ginger bug going on 6 or 7 days now.. it’s so foamy and smells sweet with just a hint of sour, sorta like kombucha! Tastes wonderful! My first time doing this. Looking for ways to use it.
This is the only recipe I’ve found that doesn’t involve simmering the ginger to make a syrup… I’m sold! I don’t want to dirty a pot or wait for it to cool down! Will let you know how it turns out 🙂
Yea! I’m not sure why so many people brew ginger beer with “ginger tea”. I suspect it’s because they’re copying the method from a popular fermented drink book that came out a few years ago. However, I started brewing ginger beer with raw ginger way before that book came out. 😉 Raw ginger feeds the ginger bug, so using it makes sense to me! Hope you enjoy your beverage! Cheers, Emillie
It’s already so bubbly! Especially when the layer of grated ginger that settles to the bottom is disturbed. When you say it’s ready when the top begins to bubble—does this mean when there is a layer of foamy bubbles on the very top of the ferment, as seen from looking in from the mouth of the jar? I’ve seen some people refer to that, and some refer to simply when there’s bubbles where the top of the liquid meets the wall of the jar.
I usually judge bubbly by the bubbles on the top of the liquid after stirring. I also lick the spoon after stirring to see if it’s a bit sparkly. It sounds like you’re ready to bottle! Cheers.